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Chile: Low temperatures damage 100% of kiwi-producing areas

Two weeks after the frosts in Chile, the Kiwi Committee of Chile has issued a first report on the impact of the low temperatures for the sector, with information provided by producers and exporters associated with the Committee.

According to this information, 100% of the kiwi-producing areas have suffered damages as a result of the spring's frosts and 50% of them present severe damages.

According to the Committee's estimations, production volumes will drop by more than 60% this season; a figure which may increase by another 10%, depending on further data on damages still to be accounted for.

Main effects
The entity pointed out that, based on the 60% drop in production, the value of the losses has been estimated at approximately US$ 120 million FOB.

"We still need to account for direct losses caused by irreparable damages, the increase in the costs of handling and recovery of the plantations and the increase in unit costs due to the lower production volumes," reported the Committee.

Another effect is the direct negative impact on the plantations, and consequently on the growers' profitability, which could lead to a reduction in Chile's acreage for kiwi production.

The Committee stated that the current season will not be the only one affected, as there can also be negative consequences for next year's fruit production if the plantations are not appropriately handled.

In addition, the frosts could entail an increase in the number of Psa cases, and the lower fruit availability will have an impact on the entire productive chain, as the plantations will require fewer workers and a lower processing and storing capacity will be needed.

The Committee stated that, during this first stage, it will concentrate its efforts on preparing a monthly evaluation of the frosts' productive impact and the volumes available for the season; it will provide productive handling advice and technical support to producers and exporters, and, in association with other sectors and organisations, it will take part in the development of a support plan in relevant issues such as labour, funding for growers, availability of frost control technologies and support from the Government.


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